Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of moderating the first Provincial candidate forum for our riding. I was thrilled to see more than 150 people, come out to the beautifully redecorated Canterbury Commons Community Centre, and the event was a fantastic show of democracy.
Candidates from the major parties were in attendance, and it was good to see how enthusiastic they were about improving the way of life for the residents of their constituency. As moderator, I was also glad all the candidates were respectful of each other.
Dozens of questions had been submitted to the Scugog Chamber of Commerce, the host organization for the event, who vetted the queries and accomplished the difficult task of narrowing the questions down to a handful.
Topics ranged from post pandemic recovery, to small business employment, but a great deal of time was spent on the housing situation, and lack of affordability, for many people to purchase a home. This, of course, leads to people not being able to live here, which leads to employers not being able to find staff.
The one element I emphasized and continue to do, is your opportunity to get out and vote. It is not only your right, but it is also a privilege. During these times, when war rages in Eastern Europe and turmoil exists, we must realize how cherished our freedom is. We live in a democratic society, and ensuring we remain that way can only be done through using your voice on June 2nd (election day), to keep our way of life intact.
I know it is our nature to complain about politicians, and what they do or do not do, but if you choose not to go and vote, you forfeit the right to have your say.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.